Around the World in 80 Days
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"Good! What time is it?"
"Twenty-two minutes after eleven," returned Passepartout,
drawing an enormous silver watch from the depths of his pocket.
"You are too slow," said Mr. Fogg.
"Pardon me, monsieur, it is impossible--"
"You are four minutes too slow. No matter; it's enough to mention
the error. Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes after eleven, a.m.,
this Wednesday, 2nd October, you are in my service."
Phileas Fogg got up, took his hat in his left hand, put it on
his head with an automatic motion, and went off without a word.
Passepartout heard the street door shut once; it was his new
master going out. He heard it shut again; it was his predecessor,
James Forster, departing in his turn. Passepartout remained
alone in the house in Saville Row.
IN WHICH PASSEPARTOUT IS CONVINCED THAT HE HAS AT LAST FOUND HIS IDEAL
"Faith," muttered Passepartout, somewhat flurried, "I've seen people
at Madame Tussaud's as lively as my new master!"
Madame Tussaud's "people," let it be said, are of wax, and are much
visited in London; speech is all that is wanting to make them human.
During his brief interview with Mr. Fogg, Passepartout had been
carefully observing him. He appeared to be a man about forty years of age,
with fine, handsome features, and a tall, well-shaped figure;
his hair and whiskers were light, his forehead compact and unwrinkled,
his face rather pale, his teeth magnificent. His countenance possessed
in the highest degree what physiognomists call "repose in action,"
a quality of those who act rather than talk. Calm and phlegmatic,
with a clear eye, Mr. Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English
composure which Angelica Kauffmann has so skilfully represented on canvas.
Seen in the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea of being
perfectly well-balanced, as exactly regulated as a Leroy chronometer.
Phileas Fogg was, indeed, exactitude personified, and this was betrayed
even in the expression of his very hands and feet; for in men, as well as
in animals, the limbs themselves are expressive of the passions.
He was so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready,
and was economical alike of his steps and his motions. He never took
one step too many, and always went to his destination by the shortest cut;
he made no superfluous gestures, and was never seen to be moved or agitated.
He was the most deliberate person in the world, yet always reached his
destination at the exact moment.
He lived alone, and, so to speak, outside of every social relation;
and as he knew that in this world account must be taken of friction,
and that friction retards, he never rubbed against anybody.
As for Passepartout, he was a true Parisian of Paris. Since he
had abandoned his own country for England, taking service as a valet,
he had in vain searched for a master after his own heart.
Passepartout was by no means one of those pert dunces depicted by
Moliere with a bold gaze and a nose held high in the air; he was
an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding,
soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good round head, such as one
likes to see on the shoulders of a friend. His eyes were blue,
his complexion rubicund, his figure almost portly and well-built,
his body muscular, and his physical powers fully developed by the
exercises of his younger days. His brown hair was somewhat tumbled;
for, while the ancient sculptors are said to have known eighteen methods
of arranging Minerva's tresses, Passepartout was familiar with but one of
dressing his own: three strokes of a large-tooth comb completed his toilet.
It would be rash to predict how Passepartout's lively nature would agree
with Mr. Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether the new servant
would turn out as absolutely methodical as his master required;
experience alone could solve the question. Passepartout had been
a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearned for repose;
but so far he had failed to find it, though he had already served
in ten English houses. But he could not take root in any of these;
with chagrin, he found his masters invariably whimsical and irregular,
constantly running about the country, or on the look-out for adventure.
His last master, young Lord Longferry, Member of Parliament,
after passing his nights in the Haymarket taverns, was too often
brought home in the morning on policemen's shoulders. Passepartout,
desirous of respecting the gentleman whom he served, ventured a mild
remonstrance on such conduct; which, being ill-received, he took his leave.
Hearing that Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life
was one of unbroken regularity, that he neither travelled nor stayed
from home overnight, he felt sure that this would be the place he was after.
He presented himself, and was accepted, as has been seen.
At half-past eleven, then, Passepartout found himself alone in
the house in Saville Row. He begun its inspection without delay,
scouring it from cellar to garret. So clean, well-arranged,
solemn a mansion pleased him ; it seemed to him like a snail's shell,
lighted and warmed by gas, which sufficed for both these purposes.
When Passepartout reached the second story he recognised at once
the room which he was to inhabit, and he was well satisfied with it.
Electric bells and speaking-tubes afforded communication with
the lower stories; while on the mantel stood an electric clock,
precisely like that in Mr. Fogg's bedchamber, both beating
the same second at the same instant. "That's good, that'll do,"
said Passepartout to himself.
He suddenly observed, hung over the clock, a card which, upon inspection,
proved to be a programme of the daily routine of the house.
It comprised all that was required of the servant, from eight in the morning,
exactly at which hour Phileas Fogg rose, till half-past eleven,
when he left the house for the Reform Club--all the details of service,
the tea and toast at twenty-three minutes past eight, the shaving-water
at thirty-seven minutes past nine, and the toilet at twenty minutes before ten.
Everything was regulated and foreseen that was to be done from
half-past eleven a.m. till midnight, the hour at which the
methodical gentleman retired.
Mr. Fogg's wardrobe was amply supplied and in the best taste.
Each pair of trousers, coat, and vest bore a number,
indicating the time of year and season at which they were
in turn to be laid out for wearing; and the same system
was applied to the master's shoes. In short, the house
in Saville Row, which must have been a very temple of disorder
and unrest under the illustrious but dissipated Sheridan, was cosiness,
comfort, and method idealised. There was no study, nor were there books,
which would have been quite useless to Mr. Fogg; for at the Reform
two libraries, one of general literature and the other of law and politics,
were at his service. A moderate-sized safe stood in his bedroom,
constructed so as to defy fire as well as burglars; but Passepartout
found neither arms nor hunting weapons anywhere; everything betrayed
the most tranquil and peaceable habits.
Having scrutinised the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands,
a broad smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully,
"This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together,
Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman!
A real machine; well, I don't mind serving a machine."
IN WHICH A CONVERSATION TAKES PLACE WHICH SEEMS LIKELY TO COST
PHILEAS FOGG DEAR
Phileas Fogg, having shut the door of his house at half-past eleven, and
having put his right foot before his left five hundred and seventy-five times, and his left foot
before his right five hundred and seventy-six times, reached the Reform Club,
an imposing edifice in Pall Mall, which could not have cost less than
three millions. He repaired at once to the dining-room, the nine windows
of which open upon a tasteful garden, where the trees were already gilded
with an autumn colouring; and took his place at the habitual table,
the cover of which had already been laid for him. His breakfast consisted
of a side-dish, a broiled fish with Reading sauce, a scarlet slice of
roast beef garnished with mushrooms, a rhubarb and gooseberry tart,
and a morsel of Cheshire cheese, the whole being washed down with
several cups of tea, for which the Reform is famous. He rose at
thirteen minutes to one, and directed his steps towards the large hall,
a sumptuous apartment adorned with lavishly-framed paintings.
A flunkey handed him an uncut Times, which he proceeded to cut
with a skill which betrayed familiarity with this delicate operation.
The perusal of this paper absorbed Phileas Fogg until a quarter before four,
whilst the Standard, his next task, occupied him till the dinner hour.
Dinner passed as breakfast had done, and Mr. Fogg re-appeared in the
reading-room and sat down to the Pall Mall at twenty minutes before six.
Half an hour later several members of the Reform came in and drew up
to the fireplace, where a coal fire was steadily burning.
They were Mr. Fogg's usual partners at whist: Andrew Stuart, an engineer;
John Sullivan and Samuel Fallentin, bankers; Thomas Flanagan, a brewer;
and Gauthier Ralph, one of the Directors of the Bank of England--
all rich and highly respectable personages, even in a club which
comprises the princes of English trade and finance.
"Well, Ralph," said Thomas Flanagan, "what about that robbery?"
"Oh," replied Stuart, "the Bank will lose the money."
"On the contrary," broke in Ralph, "I hope we may put our hands
on the robber. Skilful detectives have been sent to all the
principal ports of America and the Continent, and he'll
be a clever fellow if he slips through their fingers."
"But have you got the robber's description?" asked Stuart.
"In the first place, he is no robber at all," returned Ralph, positively.
"What! a fellow who makes off with fifty-five thousand pounds, no robber?"
"Perhaps he's a manufacturer, then."
"The Daily Telegraph says that he is a gentleman."
It was Phileas Fogg, whose head now emerged from behind his newspapers, who
made this remark. He bowed to his friends, and entered into the conversation.